Minster in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane wishes to inform the media and the public that the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill, 2022 (“the Bill”) was published today, 30 September 2022. The purpose of the publication is to inform the public that the Minister intends to introduce the Bill in parliament in terms of section 73 of the Constitution.
The gazetting of this Bill is a major step forward in driving a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to ensure a coordinated national response to the crisis of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide by the government of South Africa and the country as a whole. The National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, once established, will be the custodian of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF (GBVF-NSP) and will be responsible for driving its implementation.
Currently, implementation of the NSP on GBVF is being driven by the End GBVF Collective – A volunteerism based collective of government, civil society, development partners, business individuals who have banded together under the pillars of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF to respond to a stubborn pandemic that continues to impact the lives of women and girls daily.
The process of developing this legislation is in line with the declaration of the Presidential Summit Against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), held on 1 and 2 November 2018 and the NSP on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
Government has worked on drafting this Bill in consultation with multiple stakeholders in line with the Development of Public Policy and Subordinate Legislation guidelines. In June and September 2020, the department held public consultation webinars to:
- Share status quo with regards to the establishment of the NCGBVF;
- Share government’s thinking on the NCGBVF’s Terms of Reference (TOR), the legislative framework and government’s representation on the NCGBVF;
- Give space for civil society to share thinking on the NCGBVF’s TORs, the legislative framework and all other matters related to NCGBVF.
In September 2020 Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also met with Business Associations to deliberate on the process of establishing the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. The webinar solicited inputs on the draft Terms of Reference and the selection criteria for members to form part of the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide as well as other measures to speed up the roll-out implementation of the National Strategic Plan.
In October 2020, the department held a roundtable discussion to engage on realizing the outcomes of the NSP on GBVF. This roundtable centred around the Terms of Reference for establishment of the NCGBVF.
In October 2021 the department published the Bill in the government gazette to solicit public inputs and comments. In addition, in November and December 2021, provincial consultations were held to solicit inputs into the Bill.
The Bill has been supported by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). The Bill was certified as constitutionally sound by the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser and having met all legal drafting requirements.
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, welcomed this step, saying the “National Strategic Plan envisages a National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide that is based on a multi-sectoral approach.” Once established and operational, the Council will work with key government departments, civil society organizations and the private sector. This will contribute to building on-going national, provincial and local accountability for urgent, comprehensive and all-inclusive response to Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
Director-General of the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Advocate Mikateko Joyce Maluleke welcomed the gazetting of this Bill as critical step in realizing the goals set out in the NSP on GBVF. “As far back as 1998 the South African government promulgated the Domestic Violence Act, which covered a wide range of abuses from physical and sexual, to economic, and psychological, as well as stalking, damage to property etc. More recently, you would have heard about The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development making amendments to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill (NRSO), Domestic Violence Bill, & the Criminal Matters Amendment Bill. The Department of Social Development also opened up the Victim Support Services Bill for public comment. Amongst its scope, this Bill also proposes makes it a legal requirement that all service providers deal with victims of abuse in a professional manner, ensuring the dignity of the victim is preserved at all times during the process. These Bills strengthen the legal environment that provide justice for survivors of GBVF,” said DG Maluleke.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane wished to thank the many stakeholders who worked on drafting this Bill, made contributions, and have worked with the department in reaching this milestone.
The National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide can be found here:
The National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill (NCGBVF) can be found here:
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.